BIG TIME CULTURE, SMALL TOWN COOL
The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum is located in one of five National Historic Districts in beautifully preserved downtown Staunton, Virginia. Recent investments in Staunton’s historic downtown now total more than $200 million. In 2002, Staunton received the Great American Main Street Award, recognizing it as one of the ten most unique small cities in America.
Today’s Staunton looks as it would have when Woodrow Wilson visited his hometown in 1912, yet despite its deep commitment to history Staunton is not stuck in the past. Historic rehabilitation projects, adaptive reuse of old buildings, and brand new businesses continuously breathe new life to this vibrant town. In 2005, the City partnered with private firms to complete the restoration of the 124-room Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center. The Blackfriars Playhouse, a perfect replica of its Elizabethan namesake in London, opened in 2001 as the performance space for the American Shakespeare Center. Most recently, The Blackburn Inn officially open its doors this past Spring. The 49-room luxury boutique hotel in downtown Staunton, has a storied past dating back to the 1800s. What was once Western State Hospital, The Blackburn Inn was envisioned and influenced by master builder and Thomas Jefferson protégé, Thomas R. Blackburn.
Visitors come to Staunton from all over the world, but most are Americans interested in Virginia’s many historic towns, battlefields, and museums. Less than three hours from Washington, D.C. and 35 minutes Charlottesville, Virginia—the site of Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello; James Monroe’s home, Ash-Lawn Highland; and the University of Virginia—Staunton sits conveniently at the intersection of I-81 and I-64.
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WE ARE ON THE VIRGINIA HISTORY TRAILS APP!
The Virginia History Trails is easy to find and easy to follow. And with 20 trails containing over 400 stories, the Virginia History Trails is easy to love. Find a trail that interests you and simply follow that route. And with the Virginia History Trails app, you get the story of each site - what happened, why it happened and who the major players were - and why they are important to American history.